16" x 20"
Oil & Cold Wax
I wanted to crawl back into the womb.
My doctor asked me to sit and said, "The biopsy came back positive. I'm so sorry."
Tears, unwillingly, fell and licked my cheeks. I quickly wiped them away. And in a daze my husband and I began a new chapter in our relationship.
Through everything, what still chokes me up is remembering losing my hair. Once it started to go, I decided to have it shaved. As I sat on the outside deck of my friends home, surrounded by my husband, my mother and my friends, she took the electric clippers and began to shear. Spontaneously I began to cry, quietly. My mother said, "Oh Evelyn, don't cry."
"I can't help it." I whispered.
It took me a couple of weeks to really look at myself in the mirror. I gave myself passing glances and ignored what was looking back, but then I finally really looked and came to a place of acceptance. Which moved into a position of accepting with spirit. Instead of hiding my head under a cap or scarf I decided to go natural. I let the sun bronze me up and I wore my badge of survival with elegant honor. Strangers came up to me to tell me how beautiful I looked and wished me well. Many women said, "I wish I had the courage to just cut it all off."
I went through several emotional stages. One of the most difficult was coming to terms that my body was attacking me, and I felt a sense of betrayal. Silently this abnormal sleeper cell laid in wait, slowly gathering more like itself, to itself until it was finally large enough to be caught under the microscope of a mammogram.
Thank you, Lord of the Mammogram machine. How many times was I tempted to NOT get a mammogram that year. So there must have been a part of my body that was communicating with me, because I did get a mammogram in 2006 and today I am well into my 5th anniversary, as a survivor.